This topic was raised in my forum just recently and several team members came forward with an outline of what they’d done in the past.
It is important to protect ourselves whenever in the process of physically meeting a new client for the first time. After all, in many cases, they are complete strangers to us and just because they are seeking our business support, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take precautions.
Some team members reported that they meet at a neutral place such as a cafe in a shopping strip or somewhere else where there are lots of people.
Some team members reported they make sure there is always someone in their home when a client visits for the first time, or any time.
Others report that they’ll organise for someone to wait for them outside or call them a short time after they’ve gone into a client’s premises (if a private home or similar) just to check on them.
I have done all three of these at various times in my business. Especially in the early days as I was building up my client base and clients were coming from all sorts of avenues. Today I have a steady client base and rarely take on a new client and it’s not often I actually have to meet them face-to-face. When I do get new clients they now come through referral and word-of-mouth which saves a lot of ‘dancing’ getting to know one another in the early stages. Frequently the people referring them are people I’ve known for many years, and they in turn, have known these others for quite sometime.
Just because we’re known as Virtual Assistants, doesn’t necessarily mean that our contact with clients is always ‘virtual’. Some of the work carried out may mean we need to physically meet with the client from time to time and that’s fine but we should always make sure we are protecting ourselves, and our families and homes as well. A little preplanning or thinking ahead will help you in the long run.